Chill breath of autumn
Sears the poppy scarlet red,
On his memory'd cenotaph.
Tears trickle in the furrowed
Faces of young comrades
.....now long dead
The old screen door still welcomes me
.. a familiar face, just as before
but after this...who'll pass this way?….
Will they use the rug and wipe their shoes?...
Swipe away the grime and mud?
.....Or will they even care?
I feel my pulse and lungs collide
I take a breath...and step inside
She lived alone, the last to go....
one amber dawn when skies were clear
silently, without fanfare....
death wafted through these hard wood floors
and took more than a glimpse of her
I've been asked to sell the house,
to clear it out, and set it right…
Somehow, seems wrong….
a trespass on the throne of life
that was softly lived
behind the gate, where thirsty roses bloom, and wait…
to disturb the lace on drop leaf tables…
disgrace the quiet of the gloom
open drawers, snoop and sort, ….a pruning,
of the good, the used, from worn and torn
My hands are able, but my heart declines..
what isn’t mine, to toss, to find, to mark, and label…
I hear the echoes, in each room…
along with swishings of my broom…
and the dust motes in the window light
like glitter in the afternoon…
reminders of old sparks ingnited
where cozy logs had offered light
keeping her last nights warm..…
The whirling sound of winds outside…
whispered breaths of weaving looms
the treadled sounds of sewing hems..
peddled feet, and bustling, rustling
and those of clattering pans and potting blooms…
There are questions I want to ask
tho’ I can’t recall just what they were
no matter now….with no one here
I must be focused….on my task…
it must be done…
And now, …as doors of dark begins
I see, somehow, that fate moved in….
I am glad that I, with my two hands…
have witnessed with a smile, unplanned,
A life once new, until the end
I hold it all, and always will
her life, I held in loving hands
I stand here in the halls of night
content, I'll leave without regret
companioned by a day well spent…
I've been within …her company
Oh friend of mine you are so sweet.
As we talk and talk we carry on.
so little time we have just you and I.
Oh friend of mine you are so sweet.
My friend of mine .
If only you had time.
we would go shopping.
Oh friend of mine
If only you did not have cancer.
Oh friend of mine.
We are forever friends until the end.
Oh friend of mine until we met again.
My sweet sweet friend.
I did not know her much
but there was warmth in her touch
Tall and quiet,serene and cool
politeness was her rule
I did not know her much
but there was warmth in her touch
Feminine in manner and mien
an example upon our scene
I did not know her much
but there was warmth in her touch
Her eyes filled with grace
she will be missed in fellowship's place
I did not know her well
but in me this impression dwells
....there was a warmth in her touch
I shook Doreen's hand in welcome at the door of our church last Sunday morning,she died in
her sleep on Sunday night, aged eighty-six.She had attended our Time out for Seniors(our
church's monthly community lunch/fellowship ) where I sometimes joined her & her friend for
the meal part.She lived in a local care home and started coming to our church within the last
I remember when I was told.
Family in silence.
It’s not fair. The heartbeat of appliances still whining,
I focus on times I thought we’d grow old...
Clouds part with unexplained violence
And our faces begin to pour.
A hundred questions, a doubt
And what else? Footprint in a concrete driveway,
A spark-maker unlit watching seagulls soar
From the soft earth, noise drowned out.
A boy sleeps waiting to wake
To manhood. Creased cheeks quiver,
And what he gets instead are flowers.
Relics in person, I question the ache
That asks why we give rivers
And must move on, while they remain.
Held by the smooth arms of trees,
Swallowed by a blanket of grass.
I ask the plaque what I cannot my brain,
Logic replaced by glassy guarantees
I see right through. He will not rise.
Facing away from a marching sun,
A no longer marching son lies.
It is that feeling
when sleep is to miss
awakening or awake
you believe the heart
pounding it with angels
The world today must mourn the loss
Of a soul that touched generations across.
This man who changed how we looked at space,
And was associated with the Vulcan race
For where he traveled friends were made,
Hearts touched by grace and the love he gave.
And when departing he'd raise one hand,
Give split Vulcan sign from their planet grand.
With just four words, “Live long and prosper,”
Good will prevailed and hope was fostered.
What Hollywood started five decades ago,
He made much more as new fans showed.
Everyone esteemed those pointed ears,
Wherever he went throughout the years.
With Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty too,
This team of friends endured so true.
Folks loved to watch him face harsh foes,
Armed with his logic head to toes.
How often it had saved the day,
If mankind just followed his ways.
But now he's left this planet to see,
And boldly meet his destiny.
For Leonard Nimoy was his name,
Eternally honored now rests his frame.
Yet if by chance there's another race
We find one day in outer space,
All we've learned from “Mr.Spock”
About logic should help us a lot!
But more than that we must confess
His human side taught us the best.
Today, my heart heaves a heavy weight
Why, O! Why?
The soul crushing goodbye
Fervently I pray,
To see you just one more day
We part ways knowing it not our last
Looking ahead, thinking of our next
But Death, too grotesque, had other plans;
My burden to bear!
Why this painful news,
Only God knows
Wake me from this dream
A cold, unfathomable abyss
That I never want to revisit
We bow our head in sadness
And bury our faces in distress
My heart full of pain resonates its tears
If only, If only
We could haggle out of our demise
Gone too soon
The sheer disbelief
The promises you vowed to keep
Goals to reach before you finally sleep
You may be no more but not in my mind
Still here with me
If only I can see
A staked heart, resounding unbound tears
Forget you not; to miss you a lot
Lost souls, forgotten families
Never to me
Good tales we've heard
From generations long and dead
The happy ending cliche
For your soul, I pray
Here our fate! separated by worlds
While I wait
For the powers that be, to bide us again one day
But more, for in mere simplicity
I will never say goodbye
Forever with me,
My brother, my blood
In Loving Memory of our Lost Souls
Long are the years you have lain your easel down
Longer still the sun at Botshebelo burnishing your skin
In the soft autumnal retreat of your heart
You could still hear children playing in the mission station
You saw with what glee they jigged in Sophiatown
And bled for your brothers enchained in District Six
Away in the quiet slumber of a land you loved
You wrought the blazing colours of a secret rage
of man's will thriving in his limbs
of an enduring passion for hope
in the dance of stoic joyousness
in the embrace of a Mandela
Not a shaft of light escaped your hunt for
traces of your childhood
were lost the spare airs that filtered through shanty-towns
Your world was a world of people
going about their chores with premeditated caution
endowed by need with the guile for survival
People for whom you lived
People who live on in your veins
uninterred in your carved canvasses
(Poem read by the author at Sekoto's funeral in Neuilly-sur-Marne, France)
(c) T. Wignesan, Paris - 1993. (Pub. in the Journal of Comparative Poietics , Vol. 2 & 3 (Paris), 1993 & in Poietics: Disquisitions on the Art of Creation. Allahabad: Cyberwit.Net, 2008.)
This day we free you from pain
Soulful companionship you gave.
Eyes of love looked over my disdain.
Tail of happiness wagged with rave.
Dalmatian your breed, with a loving creed,
Named, Heidi, in youth with innocent face,
Growing beautifully as a spotted breed,
You gave us love, we could never replace.
Mourn thee for a while, and then moved by style.
You loved me, now thee is free.
I have no denial, thou has heavenly compile.
We shall love thee, beyond eternity.
but sleep escapes
her face only
my mind quakes
close my eyes
Toss and sigh
the sun will hide
A Travel to Palestine
In a landscape of chlorophyll sprinkled with yellow and red flowers,
neglected olive trees and bushes, my motorbike broke down,
my mobile was useless no signal here and I had a long walk home.
If I only had a donkey I could continued to the hazy blue mountain
that has has always eluded me, moving away from me when sought.
The beast and I could have reached the mountain, over and past it and
ended up in Palestine, old people are respected there; mind some
old men do not deserve accolade, like Henry Kissinger, a man of many
sins, but I would flame the downtrodden with the fire of freedom,
and not let them sink into the peace of slaves who have lost how to
dream. I would then give my donkey to another old man and travel to
Amman in Jordan and take a plane home, sit in my room and be glad
that my life had not been futile, and listened with ease as shadows of
assassins surround my home.
Black face preacher boy smiling, Pittsburgh black boy
Come snow white all my sins away
Come ladle and spoon the church Jehovah's joy
Come altar me to kneel and pray
Black face boy, jumping up and down in glory
From end to end of dais yearning to jump the cage
Pulpit acting like a stage, I feel the kingdom rage
In the follicles of flesh, tell sin's story
Bring back the flock, O, Jesus saves
Bring back the word cross the blue waves.
O but my black face preacher friend is silent
Face skyward and no word is said
And in my heart, memory makes lament
Donald Leroy Crowder is dead.
From 1925 to now is long, long walk
A long walk for a black child, all the way to Canaan's home
And everywhere a truth seed grows in some fertile loam
And I too out of it, a full flaming stalk
But when church is full the silence
Is sorrows secret evidence.
Black face preacher boy smiling, lighting the word
In dark hearts and twisted places
I tell them do not cry, there's more to be heard
Waiting for the morning, traces
Of sorrow swept away, waiting for the dawn
To come singing, you and that choir, and the angels winging
Silence, the black boy salvation in white rejoicing
O let the glory come, come dawn
O Christ again, come jubilee
O grave be glad and set us free.
Your voice all quiet now
Your laughter never to be heard again
And yet it still echoes in my head..
Your smile still plays in my mind’s eye
Feathery kisses blown from above
Floating around brushing against my face
The sadness sometimes overwhelming
When the wind blows and the flowers dance
Their multihued colors magnetize even the butterflies
Just like you always use to do…
I can’t help but smile,
remembering your love for them.
When I look at your daughter,
She reminds me about you
Even though you left too soon,
you taught her well...
At the age of thirty five,
The battle were no longer yours to fight…
Contest : Reflection
By : Wilma Neels
Stuck at the bottom
I'm caving in.
One thought of you not here
Puts me in a claustrophobic nightmare.
I can't wake up.
I may not see you again.
Reality isn't different from my sleep.
I'm still running aimlessly away to nowhere.
I'm so blinded.
Every second is hidden that I'm spinning in circles.
Makes me reckless, violent, purple dead.
Over and over something's wanting me to say
I was a creep for treating you that way.
Can you forgive me?
I promise I won't make you cry.
One more chance I'll be a loyal friend.
Walk to your door.
I'm closing in.
Standing on thin ice there's no turning back.
I'll say it straight out without fumbling.
For once in my life
I confess it was a mess.
Screwed up everything special we had planned.
But now I'm here alone.
Hope is my only invisible ally.
I raise my white flag to the skies.
Will you operate my wounded heart?
The stakes are high.
But I'm willing to continue where we left off
If you have room in your heart for rent.
I wish they taught more about
Heartbreak in English class;
That I would see your face
In stormclouds, when
Bronze from the sunset scribbles
Our names in the sky.
It is happening every day.
I am no prize
In my Rossington-Collins band teeshirt
And deliberately torn jeans,
Sitting on the end of the street-
The place where horizon brush strokes
So eloquent the beauty absorbed around you;
You uplifted me by your sweet aroma.
Oh, I'm very sorry to say,
That day in May caused a breath to pay.
You stole my heart away
And cured my parading heartache;
Only if I'd known what would have brought that day,
Then I'd have hidden and gone another time.
I felt plagued and wanted to die;
As a lover would take a shot for you, I'd dodge infinity for you.
Yet only a stranger we both were,
I'm here writing this letter swollen with a million tears of heavy cries.
Maybe it could have been fate that we unofficially met;
A destiny resulting in both loss and gain.
A second's glance is certain to be the catch,
Since here I stand alone in the rain.
A passive reflection of sorrow illuminates from the scar;
My heart begins to beat slowly in rhythm with my eyes.
The ticking of the clock abruptly stops;
"I know you're up there," I finally whisper
I know your pain
Although I don't know what's happening,
I can still feel the vain.
Seems like the beginning is the ending
One moment there's bliss
It feels much like a wet kiss.
But out of nowhere you see a mirror,
"It felt so real," as you stand there alone.
You try to make sense of it all;
Yet everything begins to fall.
"AHHHH!" you scream to the top of your lungs.
Your blue eyes are running waterfalls.
It hurts me to see a single tear,
You're not the only one to hide in the room.
Swallow your tears, don't let it drop,
A splash will only cause more bitter props.
But like I say,
Tomorrow will always bring another day.
So Faith, throw away your thorns,
anticipating a happy God-given next day.
for Ronald Hindmarsh-Midwood
(24.O5.30 - 17.01.92)
To recall a friend
is never an adieu
he has merely stepped across the landing
the light still beams the door's ajar
you can hear him pacing humming swinging the windows
to let the street in the warmth
the wind ruffled
through his half-opened shirt
Across the spare digs halfway to the Schloss
austere in the shaded light slanting on drab curtains
the bare table rough-hewn the dishevelled books
the gaping porcelain jug and still wet basin
the whiff of fresh-bitten soap the close shave
and the stiff white collar excusing the day-old striped shirt
A gentle tap the door opens to a glass of port
and even if you will not cheese
"Beware! Beware you don't become an Hasbeen!"
he made no bones of his luck from stipends through Reading
the wideopen eyes commisserating through the flailing sheaf
fallen on his ample brow
the hand ever brushing aside
that wilful unconcern in your life
in your little worries your mishaps
And you knew you had mattered in his life
To recall a friend
is to give body to form
to words that bind muscle to bone
those mutual moments
You may come back a quarter of a century later
And he is still there a trifle stumped by your aged face
the mutual moments flow without break
You had driven through four sleepless nights
your eyes peeled beyond weariness
your mind bristling and in the red
"Take care! Take care", he said, "lest you burn both ends!"
Other worlds other duties
keep you from bringing up his face
keep you from keeping mementoes:
"Never excuse, never apologise!"
yes you might have penned a word
when the stolid face swung back
you didn't for that would've been abrupt
too flippant unceremonious requiring tact
So you turn up à l'improviste
the mutual moments flow over coffee at the Konditorei
the same cream curtains
the same goldbraided periodlike chairs
over neatly folded ceremoniallike lace
the irreal flood of filtered light
no more the tug and grating pull of trams to dull your words
Again the same attentive stare the same empathic vigil
for your fresh worries for your private imbroglios
while he foregoes a meal at the mensa
Only you hadn't known nor suspected
the stealthy pain gnawing away at the bones
nor did he let it be shown
Only the stoic face and the pained look
for your own blasé pain
© T.Wignesan, July 4, 1992 [from the collection: back to background material, 1993] Published as a "Preface" to Ronald Hindmarsh's commemorative writings: Mr. Hindmarsh is not writing a book. Heidelberg: Department of English, 1993. Ronnie taught English at Heidelberg University when I first met him, during the summer semester, in 1957.
Compassion that was infinite
Laughter that lifted our spirits
Comfort that enveloped those near
A crusader; true hero that wanted for naught
Whisked away so abruptly
Leaving us here to cherish all that you've taught
Heart wrenching to say goodbye
to our jewel as your name did imply
When we walk down the halls we will see your kind smile
We will never forget you walked with us for awhile
Don't be afraid to go back in time and see the life you lived.
Artificial smiles in a world stained with pain.
People you trusted, you deemed as your friends.
Only later they were icing on a cake. No one's understood you.
A book by its cover, they threw you away.
Your heart's vulnerable, breaking to pieces day-after-day.
Don't give up. It's not the end.
If everyone's turned their backs on you, know I'll be always there for you 'till the end.
Like shadows that never fade, it's inevitable for your angel not to walk away.
So don't look down in tears. Just take my hand and I'll kill away the pain.
I'll do all that I can to help you shine bright once again.
Through death and hell, I'll forever be your friend.
On a bed of nails, we won't turn pale.
Don't give up. It's not the end.
When everyone's turned their backs on you,
know I'll be always there for you even after my end.
Six feet under, my heart won't mend.
Everything that has an ending has a beginning in the end.
It's not the other way around.
So turn around, my dear, 'cause it's time to leave our mark.
It's the series finale of what had been.
Two will become One.
One will leave a legacy for the world to learn its inconsistencies.
Let's hit the reset and see the bliss tonight.
Because the end is not the end.
And to my teacher,
I'll never forget,
the gifts you gave,
before you left
I wish you could have stayed.
I miss you always.
Would that anger subside
anger fed on pride
pride of I against You
who is right: I not YOU
meum et tuum
Some words hastily released on the verge of angry pride
Tear from us a part of our flesh a part of our cells
Leaving us lesser men forever pitted against the I in You
forever wanting to be right
I above You
You may not - yes, now I know you didn't - have meant it
Your words were stony arrows sunk in the mud of my hurt
splitting even before they found the unintended target
There may yet have lingered then a little bit of the malign in you
That ultimate grace-saver in your embattled loneliness
I didn't stop to think
I had to show you I was hurt
I didn't realise your hurt was legendary
already formed and contorted in the aeons of darkness
each in our indelible separateness
Your age your despair your self-abandonment
in the gorge of medicines
in the crises that felled you
careering through terrifying electric storms
leaving you year after year worsted
wiping duster-strokes of your memory clean
I didn't stop to think
Your demise is the passing of an age
is the passing of a people's pain
In your veins you take with you a hundred years
of hurts and slings
of dismemberment and mindlessness
of lost chances anguish and despair
driven into your lonesome corner
upright against the inroads of a Rhodes
or the pitted power of Buthelesis
finding in the milling Seine
in the plucky rhythms of an ebony-and-ivory keyboard
in the hidden skeins of your eyes
beating with the heart of downtrodden generations
the infinitely pulsing look of defiance
that ultimate refusal of defeat
© T.Wignesan, March 29, 1993 [from the collection: back to background material, 1993] Pub. in Journal of Comparative Poietics, Vol. II (1993), Paris & Poietics: Disquisitions on the Art of Creation. Allahabad: Cyberwit.net, 2008.
Over the mountains to the debts of the sea
I’ll always feel your presence deep within me.
Your time here on Earth was all too shortly lived
But you helped others freely, gave all you had to give.
“Together, she said, “We would stand tall.”
Alone I feel powerless, weak, and small.
The sorrow hits in pains I’ll never comprehend.
I’ll never see your smile, your laugh, you here on Earth again.
When times come to worry and I feel out of breath
I’ll miss your mind, as our memories are meshed.
How did you survive all you went through?
I pray for half the strength I saw in you.
But its times like these I begin to understand,
You’ll never abandon me, never let go of my hand.
I look around me today and so many things remind me of you.
There’re still painful to look at today,
But they are blessings given to me by you.
And yet I remember once looking upon your lively face
I remember so much of what others have forgotten
The smiles and the laughter together
All the courage we fought with
Yes it has been years, but never the less
You’re still my best friend, only now just laid at rest
I know now when the clouds pass
It is only you shining down upon me
When the rain has come to a stop
You’re the only rainbow I see
Remember us most of all and all our fun times
Some will say, “I’ve lost another friend”
But you’re not just ‘another friend’…you were mine
For you Amanda. I miss you!
Written January 7, 2009
Beautiful and Strong;
My perception was assured.
Proud and Independent;
My heart always thought.
Defiant and Resilient;
My mind was led to believe.
But in the night you changed!
Cowardly you grew.
Ugly you became.
Meekly you hid.
Dependence clouding your every thought.
Resilient? No more!
Only broken in two,
dazed and confused!
merely a man.
He hypnotized your heart,
Confused your mind,
Devoured your essence
And Broke your spirit.
I morn for my friend.
My song; merely a lament
For a time that is no longer here.
For a warrior; no longer strong.
I morn; for my friend.
Our friendship was like a blossoming flower in the decaying world of decadence.
Time spent, time went, what happened to this blooming flower?
As our time and flower grew, so did our bond-
It seemed like you were never near, nor far, but always there.
Close when we needed a friend, but far-away, when we needed you the utmost.
Our families shared so much, from our FAITH in the Devine Creator of ALL;
To the pagan rituals of man. Maybe, that was our demise after all?
Then, ……………… there were our children’s flowers blossoming together.
Which seemed to bloom as one, but you with your up-bringing and false face;
Of a Man-made cultic religion- I am sure that was are demise, after all!
Maybe we had something to give in the DEATH after all; or maybe we did not?
We will NEVER know! We will NEVER know! We will NEVER know, because of you!
You ended it all – with ONE LIE from the pit of HELL! How could you?
You destroyed what GOD put together – it was never yours to begin with.
That was most-assuredly are demise, after all.
The DEATH, DISTUCTION, AND DEMISE of a created blooming flower, friendship and family.
You and only you, with the help of the Enemy of our SOULS; killed it all.
I have heard some say, as one LIE can destroy all things; one TRUTH can reunite them
But,……………….. But, we will never know.
We will never know what was truly lost, because of you!!
We will never know if that ONE TRUTH could recreate our friendship and flower.
We will never know, because of you and your world of -
LIES, DEATH, DISTRUCTION, AND DEMISE!!
Elegy for My Friend
No one knew that night’s slumber was his last.
His ride at eight-years was windy, fast.
The motorcycle cherished travels past.
Eternity was reaped from sleep, alas.
© Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
January 26, 2010
Poetic form: Elegy
For one gone too soon
And one who’s denied her hand to hold
Halfway through his journey towards manhood
“Life’s not fair.”
She told him so
When teachers play favorites
Or party invitations never come
Or Christmas budgets aren’t big enough for
It’s too big
Even for Mother.
So we weep
And we pray
And in our naked helplessness we come
Giving of ourselves and receiving from others
With a rare and sacred gentleness
And honor the ineffably beautiful spirit
Who breathes love and life in us and through us and among us
Today that spirit was purring.
Kathleen Taylor - b August 27th 1965 - d October 4th 2006
The friend who gonna while sheer
In friendly, airy blast always . . .
The soul around . . .
Who ne’er mind —by renders a hurt
The old cougar, restful in bench by
In stares much bit
Of enjoying up nicely day by day
With the sun illume
With the windy hit passive his skin
When stars-oh-moon light
Once hold tho shadow heaven
In casting by thrilling
His whistler galloping
In fulling island ground soul, melody
In adding-lib —
In forgiving of resentful
Uncool off liaison
The cougar as look tensity my vicinity
By was, — who had been gone . . .
And inquired one nascency rose
On souls is mind —
Who will be next? O friend scathe-less
Airy blast always at others —
Who spring by, a proudly around?